Mount Evans, named for disgraced Colorado governor, officially has a new name

The U.S. Board on Geographic Names voted 15-1 to change the peak’s name to Mount Blue Sky

Saja Hindi/The Denver Post
Mount Evans, at 14,265 in elevation at the peak, is shown in Clear Creek County, Colorado, on Tuesday, September 12, 2023. It was renamed by the U.S. Board on Geographic Names to Mount Blue Sky on Sept. 15, 2023.
Photo by Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post

Mount Evans, the Colorado fourteener named after the state’s disgraced territorial governor, now has a new name: Mount Blue Sky.

The U.S. Board on Geographic Names voted 15-1 on Friday afternoon to accept the proposal for the new name, which was one of six suggestions for the Front Range peak in Clear Creek County that’s prominently visible from across metro Denver. Three board members abstained.

Territorial Gov. John Evans was forced to resign following the Sand Creek Massacre of 1864, when U.S. soldiers attacked and killed Cheyenne and Arapaho people in southeastern Colorado territory, even after they had tried to broker peace.

Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes Governor Reggie Wassana called the renaming vote “a huge step” in a statement issued after the vote. Wassana credited several tribes and allied groups “who worked diligently to begin the healing process, bringing honor to a monumental and majestic mountain.”

“We must better face the dark history of the Sand Creek atrocities by honoring the lives that were lost,” added U.S. Sen. John Hickenlooper of Colorado in a statement applauding the decision. “Renaming one of Colorado’s tallest peaks to honor the Arapaho and Cheyenne people is an important step forward.”

The federal board selected Mount Blue Sky, the recommendation put forward by Colorado’s Geographic Names Advisory Board and Gov. Jared Polis. The new name also was backed by the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes; the Northern Arapaho Tribe; the Southern Ute Indian Tribe of the Southern Ute Reservation, Colorado; and Ute Mountain Ute Tribe.

For the full story, visit The Denver Post at